Some months you just end up taking on too much in life, in business, at work, whatever. July was one of those months for Motostrano, and me.
Going into it, you know it's too much and that's part of the thrill I suppose- pushing the limits, going into a turn too fast, braking late, buying a bike that's too much for you, etc. Going into it, you know there'll be casualties and you hope for some forgiveness as you just work to get through the chaos.
July was your average 4 week month like any other month. 31 days, a couple of holidays thrown in for good measure. Typically the peak of the great riding season each year. MotoGP is at its pinnacle. Supermoto season is in full swing. Motostrano is generally at its busiest this time of year, though this year business was certainly down due to the general downturn in the economy. Most moto shops are reporting 20% decreases in sales from last year. Motostrano is doing better than that, but still less than last year.
4 week month like any month, yet in July, Motostrano's schedule included:
- Annual Open House Event - typically takes a week to prepare for and a week to recoup from. All 8 Motostrano employees work straight through the weekend for one great sales day. Our regularly scheduled programming- getting orders in and out the door on time gets bogged down.
- MOTOGP Weekend - practically the entire store is boxed up and thrown into a van, rolled into a 20x40 booth and sold off at a discount, all weekend, to 100,000 race fans. All 8 Motostrano employees work straight through the weekend, waking up early and going to bed late. When the event ends Sunday afternoon, we all get to drive home to make sure we're ready for work bright and early Monday morning.
- Inventory count shut-down. Actually, the first time in 5 years that we've actually closed our doors for a full business day just to count our inventory. A very painful day, when you'd rather be at your desk or on the floor working with customers. Yes, a week after MotoGP, 2 weeks after our open house, the ordeal of inventory counting took its toll.
- Luke Witherspoon, age 3 days. - like I said, sometimes you just take on too much. 2 children was a nice balance. Nice round number for the family. But then we accepted the reality of having a 3rd and now (8/4/07) he's here. Luke could have been born during the open house, during MotoGP or during inventory, but he decided to spare his Dad and wait till all that was done. Thanks Luke!
Like I said, some times you just take on too much and there's always casualties. For Motostrano- this generally results in customer complaints. When things are nice and dull and the phones aren't ringing and its raining, that's the best time to put on your "I Want It Now" hat and go shopping. When all lines are lit and there's a line at the register and you're worn out, let's just say, shit will hit the fan somehow, guaranteed.
We tend to consider these casualties a fact of doing business and ask for some slack from customers whenever they occur. Most give it and heck are we grateful. Others, steamed by their own inability to see the future I guess, seek pure, compulsive and unadulterated revenge by way of spelling out each and every step that went wrong on whatever chat forum they belong, from their perspective exclusively, mis-interpreting anything you could possible explain and disbelieving anything you could possibly report. You know the drill. We've all read the long diatribes. I suppose that it's the release, or the damage they feel they might do to a company's reputation, but in the end it seems to me like some one's got really nothing better to do with their time. When these events take place, our policy is to let them vent, respond as courteously as possible, but also not encourage the venting situation, because it's a pretty childish.
No company's perfect. Northwest Airlines loses your luggage, Microsoft XP crashes, AT&T drops your call, Il Fornaio over cooks your pasta. Motostrano botches up orders. That's at least for the 1% of the world. The rest of the time, the luggage is there, XP is running like a dream, you're chattin' and chompin' away, Motostrano delivers.
Motostrano doesn't suck.
July is done. Thanks July for being done. You sucked! See you next year.